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About

Solar Tracker was an experiment in maximizing window light by bringing it indoors as an alternative to indoor lighting, with the goal of reducing electricity use. This is an old idea that goes back (at least) to the '70s where companies pushed to implement giant fiber optic ducts from rooftops to indoor ceiling lights. Unfortunately it didn't take off and we're left with fluorescent lights.

I thought a good test application would be lighting an indoor plant that also doubled to reduce indoor air pollution (for this I chose English Ivy, which absorbs most of the indoor pollutants). I began designing a (somewhat impractical) solar tracker with a fresnel lens to focus the the sunlight into a single point. I then cut open and positioned an extremely long fiber optic cable at this focal point to carry the solar light indoors. I considered using two light sensors to determine the strongest point of light and track the sun live, but ended up hard coding the sun position/angle for this prototype.


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